Friends and family members filled the North Point High School auditorium on May 15 to see 12 students graduate from the Adult Independence Program (AIP) that provided them with learning and life experiences.
This year’s graduates are Sara Akers, Shawn Duker, Joshua Gauvin, Khrystan Green, Marvin Johnson Jr., James Kilinski, Alonte McElhaney, Luther Palmer V, Marlon Tiller, Candice Wedding, Tyler Windsor and Devante Yates.
Graduation was an exciting day for the AIP graduates. Some graduates cried; other graduates laughed. Another graduate stopped in the center of the stage and posed for his family to take his picture as he ended his experience with the AIP.
The ceremony began when the lights in the auditorium dimmed as a video played, showing all in attendance examples of experiences the graduates had while enrolled in the AIP. AIP graduate Marlon Tiller offered welcoming remarks and the graduates walked in one-by-one taking their seats on the auditorium stage. The keynote speaker for the event was Erin Conner, Charles County Health Department Division of Disability Services Service Coordinator. She gave an inspirational speech to the graduates, telling them that it is better to create your own path in life and leave a trail, than follow the path of others. After Conner’s speech, the students got ready to accept their diploma. Christina Sprague presented, a special education instructional specialist for Charles County Public Schools, presented each graduate with a certificate.
Students in the program are trained to search for employment and to complete job applications, as well as how to access the public transportation system. There were 23 participating employers in the 2014-15 program.
The Adult Independence Program provides students with community-based learning experiences that give each individual the experiences of an independent adult. Throughout the duration of the program, which is designed for student’s ages 18 to 21, students acquire adult skills and apply them to community environments.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.